5 Tips for a More Sustainable Gift-Giving Season

The gift shopping season is upon us! It feels great to be able to buy something for loved ones, but it doesn’t mean it has to be at the expense of the planet. There is an exorbitant amount of holiday waste that is generated during this time of year. So what can you do instead? We’ve got some tips for you!

Reimagine gift wrapping

During the holiday season, many stores will sell wrapping paper, which is hard to recycle and is usually used once and thrown away. In fact, we add one ton of waste to landfills per week just from holiday waste!

There are many alternatives to the traditional rolls of gift wrapping paper. Opt for sustainable materials such as old newspapers, recycled brown kraft paper, or your child’s artwork--who wouldn’t want a personalized gift wrapping paper that you can actually keep? You can also explore nontraditional materials such as fabric; In Japan, fabric wrapping is so prevalent, it’s become an art form called “furoshiki”. If your gift recipient values function over aesthetics, put their gift in a reusable shopping bag like our Commit to Green nonwoven compostable bags.

Photo Credit: https://www.invaluable.com/blog/furoshiki/

Support a small, local business

If you know your loved ones have their sights set on a specific kind of item, before you look to big box stores, see if you can find a small business in your community that you can support. Supporting local businesses have many benefits, including stimulating the economy! This article shares multiple ways you can support small businesses.

Curious whether shopping online or in person is the better option? Check out this GreenBiz article on the most environmentally friendly way to shop.

Purchase something secondhand

Some hidden gems are in our neighborhood thrift stores just waiting to be discovered! From articles of clothing, to household goods and furniture, the options seem to be endless. By purchasing something secondhand, you are giving the item a new home and extending its life cycle. There are environmental benefits to buying secondhand, but you might get an added bonus of supporting other social justice causes when you make a purchase at a thrift store (check out Housing Works’ thrift stores around NYC and support their advocacy work to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS).

Gift an experience 

For those who may not want to purchase material goods, giving the gift of an experience may be a great option! Find an activity that they can enjoy on their own, or something you can do together.

Make a donation in their name

Is the gift recipient someone who is passionate about a certain cause? You can make a donation in their name to a nonprofit they support or look up charities by category/cause.

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